The tragic death in a car
accident of Bishop Patrick Lennon, retired bishop of Kildare and
Leighlin on January 12, 1990, shocked members of the Old Carlow
Society, of which he was patron, and the whole community.
Bishop Lennon was born at
Borris, Co. Carlow, on June 22, 1914. He studied for the priesthood at
Maynooth College where he was ordained on June 18, 1938. Continuing
his studies for a further two years, he obtained a doctorate in
divinity with a thesis on the Eucharist.
He was appointed on the
teaching staff of St. Patrick’s College, Carlow, in 1940, where he
remained for 26 years, the last ten years as president.
On July 3, 1966 he was
ordained Titular Bishop of Vina and Auxiliary to Bishop Keogh and P.P.
of Mountmellick. On Bishop Keogh’s retirement, he was appointed to
rule the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin on September 25, 1967,
continuing to do so until his own retirement on December 10, 1987.
The unusually large
attendance of church and civic dignitaries, together with
representatives from the parishes of the diocese at the Requiem Mass,
spoke louder than words the esteem in which Bishop Patrick Lennon was
It was a sad commentary on
our times that the obsequies of such a man should be marred by a bomb
The late Cardinal Tomás O
Fiaich summed up the character of Bishop Lennon in the opening
paragraphs of a tribute which he penned for The Nationalist & Leinster
“When I got word of
Bishop Paddy Lennon’s death in such tragic circumstances, it was his
great human qualities that immediately came to my mind.
“'Think of someone you’ve met who more richly deserved the title of
gentleman,’ I said to myself by way of a challenge, and I had to
Source: Carloviana 1990/1991 No. 38
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